Please welcome Judith Ashley to Fearless Friday. Judith has spine tingling experience to add to her novels.
By the time you read this, I will be starting the first draft of the seventh book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series. Sophia like the first book Lily starts with a scenario taken from my own professional life.
Taking three children into protective custody in my role as a child protective service worker, I really did have a mother charge me with a butcher knife and she found me ten years later with similar threats.
When I first heard her threatening message on my answering machine, the terror of her original attempt on my life paralyzed me. I had a full blown PTSD attack. For years if I had this twitchy feeling along my spine I would get up and check doors and windows even though I knew they were locked and I had had security screen doors installed as well as bars on the basement windows.
Re-experiencing the terror and even a nightmare or two (which is part of what PTSD is) as I wrote Lily gave me visceral experiences to draw upon as I wrote those scenes.
Fast forward to 2016 and Sophia. The first chapter in this book will mirror another incident in my professional life.
It was a summer evening and I was asked to make sure an elderly man was okay. I found his home, made my way down an overgrown winding path to the lower level of the house where Mr. Z lived because the upper floors were uninhabitable. I knocked and a much younger man, who appeared to be living there, answered.
After introducing myself and explaining that Aging Services was concerned about Mr. Z and had asked me to check on him this evening, I spent almost an hour visiting with the men, talking about the various services Mr. Z might find helpful. My hope was to ferret out what was going on. My senses were telling me something was wrong, but both men assured me everything was fine.
Influenced by the younger man, Mr. Z refused every suggestion.
My heart pounded as I started back up the path to the street because the younger man was following me.
Hypervigilant, my awareness of everything around me magnified, including the distance to the street and safety.
Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.
Books are available through Windtree Press (http://windtreepress.com) and major e-retailers.